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Old 03-09-08, 11:02 AM   #1
bdcheung
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Energy Ceiling

I always start bonking around 1800kJ into the ride, no matter what I eat or drink before/during. Help.
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Old 03-09-08, 11:04 AM   #2
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Assuming that you're doing all the right things in terms of eating after the previous ride, and eating/drinking on the bike, The answer is raise your FTP.

When you Bonk, in the true sense of bonking it means you're out of muscle glycogen. So you've got to find a way to preserve muscle glycogen.

One way is not ride at or above LT as much as possible early in the race (i.e. don't burn matches.)

Second way is raise your FTP, so more of your riding is done below LT, again saving matches.
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Old 03-09-08, 11:10 AM   #3
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When you say "no matter what I eat," be more specific. I went into a 106 mile ride with over 10,000 feet of climbing without any rides longer than 30 miles in the previous 3 months. I didn't bonk.

I try to eat every 30 minutes, about 80-100 calories. If my stomach just says "no thanks," then I try again at 45 minutes. If I can't, then I force it down at 60 minutes, and start at 30 for the next feeding. Also, 1/2 my fluids are energy drink (I like Powerade best).

My only mistake for this particular ride was the cheeseburger and fries in the middle of it. Took the pop out of my legs for about 1.5 hours.
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Old 03-09-08, 11:13 AM   #4
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general rule of thumb is you can absorb about 250 calories an hour.

So from the start of a long ride you need to be consuming that every hour between energy drinks, and food.

Given that you burn more than 250 calories an hour, you start witha losing proposition, and if you get behind in your eating, there's no chance of catching up.
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Old 03-09-08, 11:15 AM   #5
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I think I should clarify my interpretation of "bonk": I struggle to maintain recovery wattage.
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Old 03-09-08, 11:17 AM   #6
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Originally Posted by waterrockets View Post
When you say "no matter what I eat," be more specific. I went into a 106 mile ride with over 10,000 feet of climbing without any rides longer than 30 miles in the previous 3 months. I didn't bonk.

I try to eat every 30 minutes, about 80-100 calories. If my stomach just says "no thanks," then I try again at 45 minutes. If I can't, then I force it down at 60 minutes, and start at 30 for the next feeding. Also, 1/2 my fluids are energy drink (I like Powerade best).

My only mistake for this particular ride was the cheeseburger and fries in the middle of it. Took the pop out of my legs for about 1.5 hours.
Today's ride was 50 miles, big rolling hills. Before the ride, I had:

- 2 slices wheat toast, one with peanut butter one with nutella
- Clif shot bloks (200 cal for the package)

During the ride, I had:
- 1 bottle HEED (140 cal I think)
- Packet of Clif shot bloks (200 cal)
- Hammer gel
- 1 bottle water

Total ride time was 3 hours.
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Old 03-09-08, 11:22 AM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bdcheung View Post
Today's ride was 50 miles, big rolling hills. Before the ride, I had:

- 2 slices wheat toast, one with peanut butter one with nutella
- Clif shot bloks (200 cal for the package)

During the ride, I had:
- 1 bottle HEED (140 cal I think)
- Packet of Clif shot bloks (200 cal)
- Hammer gel
- 1 bottle water

Total ride time was 3 hours.
Applying the 250 calorie rule of thumb, that would put you about at least 300 calories light. So I definitely think you could eat more on the bike.

However it may just be some more endurance training is needed. I can generally do a pretty hard 3 hour ride with little or no food. Stored muscle glycogen should be enough to get you through 2 hours.

So running out of gas on a 3 hour, 600 calorie an hour ride, when you're eating a decent amount seems a little unusual.
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Old 03-09-08, 11:31 AM   #8
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Originally Posted by bdcheung View Post
I always start bonking around 1800kJ into the ride, no matter what I eat or drink before/during. Help.
Third way: L3 training increases muscle glycogen storage.

http://www.cyclingpeakssoftware.com/power411/levels.asp

Last fall I did a 5.25 hour, 4650 kJ ride on 3 Cliff bars, one bottle of Gatorade and one bottle of water. I do quite a bit of L3/SST.

It turns out that for the last 6 months, 48% of my ride time is L3, 21% is L4, 13.8% is L2, 13.2% is L1.
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Old 03-09-08, 12:03 PM   #9
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All the above is good but dude eat a bigger breakfast!

I don't know your weight but that would be a warm up meal for the main breakie for me. Eat according to the workout planned and give yourself some digestion time before rolling out.
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Old 03-09-08, 01:18 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bdcheung View Post
Today's ride was 50 miles, big rolling hills. Before the ride, I had:

- 2 slices wheat toast, one with peanut butter one with nutella
- Clif shot bloks (200 cal for the package)

During the ride, I had:
- 1 bottle HEED (140 cal I think)
- Packet of Clif shot bloks (200 cal)
- Hammer gel
- 1 bottle water

Total ride time was 3 hours.
That seems a bit low. I know that before a ride like that I would go for at least 3 packets of oatmeal with a bagel (or two pieces of toast) with peanut butter on top of that. As for the on ride nutrition I would also eat a Clif Bar or something of the like there in addition to what you already ate. I found I had to do a lot of trial and error on nutrition last year as I was bonking when I started doing my 3 hour rides, but this is what works for me.
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Old 03-09-08, 02:46 PM   #11
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Not enough breakfast. Also, the Clif blocks are high glycemic- great for instant energy on the bike, not so good for longer lasting energy from breakfast. Try eating more, and make it real food. Save the space food for on the bike.

Yesterday I also did a 50 mile ride with 5k feet of climbing, 2200kj. I ate almost exactly the same as you on the bike (a Clif bar instead of shot bloks but everything else the same). No bonk, not even close. But 1 hour before the ride I had a big bowl of grape nuts with nonfat yoghurt and fruit. This morning it was a stack of whole wheat pancakes. Two pieces of toast would, like Crit Rat says, just be a warmup.

One thing I have noticed is that as I approach my "target" weight (as low as I'm comfortable going), it becomes a bit easier to bonk, so I need to eat more.

All the posters mentioning raising FTP, etc, are also right, but if you don't eat enough, then that stuff won't matter.
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Old 03-09-08, 02:56 PM   #12
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More breakfast. Got it.

How do y'all feel about eggs (scrambled)? I like eggs.
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Old 03-09-08, 04:33 PM   #13
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More breakfast. Got it.

How do y'all feel about eggs (scrambled)? I like eggs.
When I have time, I've gone the Scrambled Egg route.

Usually, I don't have time.

Banana's are good too.
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Old 03-09-08, 05:04 PM   #14
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When I have time, I've gone the Scrambled Egg route.

Usually, I don't have time.

Banana's are good too.
What do you take for breakfast-to-go?
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Old 03-09-08, 05:05 PM   #15
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Originally Posted by fuzzthebee View Post
Third way: L3 training increases muscle glycogen storage.

http://www.cyclingpeakssoftware.com/power411/levels.asp

Last fall I did a 5.25 hour, 4650 kJ ride on 3 Cliff bars, one bottle of Gatorade and one bottle of water. I do quite a bit of L3/SST.

It turns out that for the last 6 months, 48% of my ride time is L3, 21% is L4, 13.8% is L2, 13.2% is L1.
A big plus one to more SST and more eating.

A yearish ago a 1500kJ ride on a cup of coffee would leave me shaking, nauseous and generally f**ked up. Now I can comfortably hit 2000kJ with the same fueling.

The difference is now the vast majority of my riding is L3/L4 SST stuff. For food, if I intend to go over 1500ish kJ I eat a good breakfast. 300+ calories of oatmeal, 600+ if I'm doing 3 or more hours, a piece of fruit and coffee with milk.
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Old 03-09-08, 06:05 PM   #16
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How do y'all feel about eggs (scrambled)? I like eggs.
Not for a riding day. Too much protein and not enough carbs for me. The one time I tried it I felt real bad, enough that I've had an aversion to eggs before rides since. One egg is ok to add some protein along with a large amount of carbs, before a full day in the saddle. But everyone's different. I've seen guys loading up on a Denny's Grand Slam with extra bacon before a race. Experiment and see what works for you.

Oatmeal is always good and healthy. The instant stuff has too much junk in it so I just microwave rolled oats- just as fast as instant and the only junk is that what I put in.
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Old 03-09-08, 06:23 PM   #17
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A couple of eggs and either some oatmeal or a bagel is a pretty normal pre ride breakfast for me. No problems. I don't like to skip breakfast before I ride.
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